I'm not normally a vengeful person, although I've been known to make exceptions under duress. Lately, I've been slinging revenge around like a demented tennis player. Perhaps you're wondering what is the provocation for this unusual behavior. I'm going to tell you right now.
As you may know, we had quite a bit of rain here in October and November, what with Hurricanes Patricia and Sandra and other unnamed storms swirling about, and San Pancho is mosquito-y, maybe more so than usual. All I know is that mosquitoes are obvious lately out on our paradisical terrace and even in the living room and sometimes the bedroom. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but so have been a couple of fairly nasty mosquito-borne illnesses, but don't let that ruin paradise for you.
The good news is we came home from Ajijic a while ago with my favorite new tool besides my power sander and my Skil Saw and my slick white-handled Cutco knives which I bought a whole set of from my son when he was earning money in college, who, by the way, sharpens them to a zinging edge every time he comes to visit, because that's the kind of excellent guy he is. He takes care of his mama.
So this tool we came home with is this:
Actually, the more I get to know it, the more I prefer to call it a weapon. I know, I know, it's not very cool looking for a weapon. It's not a laser sword or Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth. It's rather mundane, really. I mean, it does have that zigzag lightning bolt on the head which is kind of lame, I admit. And you have to plug it in, which is okay for a tool but very uncool for a weapon. It does, however, have a handy little plug which hides in the handle when you don't need it and ejects with a small red lever so you can plug it in when you go to bed.
Once it's charged up, a woman can get to work with it. What it does is, it zaps mosquitoes. It's a mosquito zapper. So that goofy tennis racket shaped head on it comes in handy when I wave it around the room and under our work table, covering great swaths of air in a single sweep and electrocuting any mosquito in its path.
See, the mosquitoes that are pestering one and all around here these days are not only SILENT mosquitoes, they are also INVISIBLE mosquitoes, at least usually. You might feel them tapping around on your calf looking for the spot that will itch the most so they can bite it, but you never hear that irritating whine in your ear which at least serves as a warning and you NEVER SEE THEM.
Thus the Weapon, which I now prefer to Capitalize.
Sweep, sweep, sweep through the air. POP! Ha! Got the little bloodsucker. Oh, can you imagine the thrill? Which is only multiplied when you get POP! under your chair and POP! behind your chair and POP! POP! over there under the shelf where they sometimes attempt to take cover. Fruitless. At the first hint of an itch, I wake up from whatever I was focusing on, reach over and grab the zapper. (They love to bite you when you're concentrating. That's a documented fact.) And I get up and go after it. I am not a quitter so I almost always get it, sometimes along with a few of its siblings who have been watching from what they think is a safe distance for their sister's restaurant review. But it's NOT SAFE, is it? she says, cackling. POP! POP!
Now look, I realize you might be one of those people who carry scorpions out into the garden instead of squashing them on the spot, and even if you're not you may be thinking either (1) I am cruel and thoughtless and don't care about the right of every creature to its natural lifespan, or (2) I have gone mad. And on either account, you might have a point. Sort of. But really, these aren't deer or an endangered species. I know, every now and then I might inadvertently wipe out an innocent gnat that was just out looking for an overripe banana, but I am pretty darn sure that there are replacements available for that gnat.
As far as the mosquitoes go, I have not a single pang of conscience, not the eensiest qualm about diminishing their number given that there are over thirty five thousand species of mosquitoes on this planet. Mosquitoes have lasted nearly one hundred million years so far, out of sheer nastiness. I say, take out as many you can whenever you have the chance.
Mosquitoes love me. I am what's commonly referred to in groups seated around bonfires as "mosquito bait". If there's a mosquito around, it will find me and bite me. If I have used repellent, which I used to have to do even more before I found my Weapon, they will bite me in whatever tiny spot I have neglected to spray. The other night I had a bite above my eyebrow! How did that happen? I'll tell you how: they are sneaky and they are merciless. I'm just fighting fire with fire.
For instance, I was all comfy in bed the other night, getting delightfully drowsy as I wrapped up a couple of emails, when I felt on my toe the telltale little itch that is a sign that a mosquito is tasting you in preparation for creating an angry red welt just for the fun of it.
Without moving anything but my arm, I reached behind me for the Weapon. (I keep a second one on the shelf behind my bed, as I know of few things as torturous as trying to fall asleep when you know a mosquito is lurking about just waiting for your first sleeping breath to begin siphening blood from your thigh. I remember once in Tuscany, where I was learning a bit of Italian, I prowled my room for a full hour on a school night hunting a little devil who I knew was there before I finally cornered her in the bathroom and smacked her flat with a wet washcloth. My neighbors in the room beside mine at the agriturismo told me the next morning that they had been up for hours doing the same and finally he had to stand on a chair and use a tee-shirt to swat their torturer. We drank a toast later in the grape arbor.)
So anyway, back in my comfy bed, after stealthily grasping the zapper and slipping my thumb onto the trigger, I quickly waved once in front of me at nothing that I could see and POP! fried the little itch machine in midair two feet above my right foot! I went to sleep smiling.
If anyone cared to look lately, they probably could see me doing a strange dance around the terrace with something in my hand, bending to sweep it under the tables, doing slow twirls to get the ones that fly about three and a half feet off the ground, drawing lethal designs in the air behind my chair and Craig's. Between that and my ballet class which is in the beautiful new Dance Bodega which is attached to the Circus Bodega (this town is amazing), I am getting some fine exercise these days.
My new plan is to make a sequined shoulder sling in which to carry my Weapon to the beach. The Weapon will be a hit right around sunset. I have no plans yet for a full costume, but if you run into me in the street, I don't mind if you just call me Mosquito Woman.
And you can call my weapon Adios.
(Update: rechargeable Weapons are often available these days from the stoplight vendors in Mezcales and Bucerias who, although they don't wear roller skates and don't serve rootbeer floats, offer friendly car-window service.)